carry it in my heart.pdf


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and says you’re fucking disgusting in Jesse‟s—Mark‟s—ear. You think you‟ve got him
figured out, but there‟s something about him that is dangerously unpredictable.
Jesse thinks, as one of Andrew‟s slim thighs shoves his roughly apart, as a set of crooked
teeth introduces itself to the side of his jaw, hard, that maybe he could have seen this coming.
He groans, digs his fingers in, and Andrew smiles like the sun when he bites back.
But that‟s getting ahead of the story.
***
Jesse‟s always felt a bit uncomfortable in his skin. Most of the time he walks around feeling
sort of disjointed, like he‟s got his body on backwards and the tag is showing. He wishes he
could claim the whole twitchy awkwardness thing he has going as good acting, but if that‟s
the case, he‟s been method since he hit puberty. Usually interacting with people makes him
feel like some kind of displaced robot person or one of those kids who don‟t develop social
skills right so their parents have them set up on playdates with normal children as therapy. He
doesn‟t listen to the right music or watch the right things, and maybe that would be okay if he
was into any of the things that awkward nerdy guys are supposed to be into, but he‟s not. He‟s
never had a PlayStation and he doesn‟t even know how to order Starbucks. No, instead he
collects old maps and listens to musical theater and lives inside this odd limbo between
normal and the kind of weird that is normal to weird people.
Which is to say, he doesn‟t know why he came here, this glass bottle of a restaurant alone
with Andrew. He can feel the drink in his hand making his palm even clammier as he tracks
the stripes on Andrew‟s Henley with his eyes, and he occupies himself with the way they
follow the lines of his shoulders, lines, borders, maps of Eastern Europe, anything that‟s not
the impending awkwardness of the next hour. He used to take night classes just to avoid
interactions like this.
So today is the first table read—the first time they‟ve actually met each other. Fincher gave
them a lunch break halfway through, and Jesse honestly can‟t remember what compelled him
to follow when Andrew suggested a kosher place down the street—when he asked Andrew
how he knew he was Jewish, Andrew just laughed—but here he is.
Jesse‟s already folded into the corner of a booth when Andrew slides into the opposite side,
all limbs and smiles. He has this sort of lolling grace about the way he moves, like he‟s in a
state of smooth, continuous motion, even when he‟s curling his legs under him in the booth
and pushing up his sleeves to pop the top off of his salad. It makes Jesse more aware of how
everything he does is jerky and angular. One time his sister told him he moved like a serial
killer on uppers. She‟s probably right. Andrew moves like a deer.
Jesse waits until Andrew‟s settled in to start unwrapping his sandwich, and Andrew smiles at
him over a forkful of lettuce. Andrew smiles a lot. Like, a lot. Usually Jesse finds that kind of
thing disturbing, but on this weird British guy it‟s okay. Which is pretty disturbing itself, but
Jesse is neurotic enough without those kinds of circuitous trains of thought, so he decides to
let it die.
“So,” Andrew says, still smiling. “You‟re a dick.”